Undefeatable (1994)
Cui Hua Kuang Mo
Undefeatable - Furia Invincibile

Nomination Year: 2011
SYNOPSIS:  Much like it's bad luck to name a ship The Indestructible or The Unsinkable, a martial artist should never, ever claim to be undefeatable.

Not that anyone in the film actually does. It's three parallel stories that converge with predictable (if violent) results. In story #1, a cop (Nick) thwarts a robbery at a neighborhood market. In story #2, a therapist (Jennifer) recommends that her patient (Anna) leave Anna's abusive deathmatch-fighting husband (Stingray). In story #3, a woman (Kristi - Cynthia Rothrock) fights a street match for money to pay her sister Karen's college tuition.

Anna leaves Stingray, so he goes around mistaking other women for Anna, killing them (and any men that they might be with), and gouging out their eyes. One of the women he kills is Karen. Nick and his partner Mike try to figure out who is doing this. They even call in an expert on esoteric martial arts, who identifies some strange bruising as being caused by Chinese Dragon Claw technique.

Kristi goes out to seek justice, but has a knack for beating up the wrong people. At Karen's funeral, Jennifer and Mike meet. Jennifer was Karen's Abnormal Psych prof, and offers to help the cops profile the serial killer.

Jennifer figures out that the killer is probably Anna's husband (Stingray) at about the same time that he finds a letter from Jennifer's office and decides to Track Her Down and Make Her Pay. He captures Jennifer, but she uses her crazy-people-fu and nearly gets away. In the end, it takes the combined appearances of Kristi, Nick, and Mike to drive Stingray away -- but he fatally wounds Mike in the process.

Nick and Kristi visit Jennifer in the hospital when Stingray attacks again. This battle will be to the finish, and no one is undefeatable.

Although it can be argued that the movie itself is unredeemable.

...and at the end, everybody except Nick is enrolled in community college to improve their life. Because it's a Movie with a Message.

Worst Cover Copy

Look out spear lady, your backdrop's on fire!
The front picture of Cynthia Rothrock is bad (weirdly squeezed, as though the original was anamorphic). The spear she's holding? Nobody uses a weapon like that in the film. The firey background? There is no fire in the film, not even in a minor role.

The plot description from the back is largely accurate, although there are some specific things that are wrong. "[R]ough and tumble life"? She's a waitress. The "killer's grisly trademark" is actually that he pokes the eyes out of all his victims, it's not his esoteric martial arts technique. The killer is "the most lethal adversary imaginable"? Only if you lack imagination. If he was a martial artist zombie pirate shark with a laser on his shoulder instead of a parrot, he would be far more lethal (for example).

"Cutting Butter With A Chainsaw"

It's the only way to be sure.
Stingray beats up on the karate champion, and breaks his arm. And just for good measure, pokes his eyes out, and throws him off the parking garage and onto an SUV. Nothing but net.

Crummiest Ending

America, yeah!
Nick, Kristi, and her buddies are visiting Kristi's sister's grave. Kristi leaves her gang chains and wristbands on the headstone, giving up the gang life forever.
But her buddies are going to community college now -- because she enrolled them!
"But what about you?" one of them asks.
"Not me," she says.
"Yes, you," says Nick. "I enrolled you, too!"
High fives all around!

Worst Acting

John Miller as Nick DiMarco.
Kristi was picked up for illegal streetfighting, and is testy with the cops who have arrested her. Nick is one of those cops, and he cares about Kristi and her whereabouts. He cares deeply. Physical violence would have been better appreciated -- not against each other, against the audience. Less painful in the long (and short!) run.

Smithee Award Winner!MegaMetaSmithee Award Winner! Worst Picture

Hooked another one!
Kristi and Nick are having it out with Stingray in the loading dock of the hospital. Stingray licks blood off his knife, then he and Nick fight some. Clothing is torn, then each tears his shirt off and briefly poses. Kristi jumps into the fight, even though her arm is in a sling. She and Stingray and Nick battle it out. It looks pretty evenly matched until they slam Stingray's head into the wall, and the coathook pokes out one of his eyes. He continues to fight (hand over bad eye), but has lost his edge. The "good guys" impale his other eye on a large hook, and use the remote to haul his (kicking and struggling) body up into the air and away. "See you around, Stingray," says Kristi. "Yeah," Nick adds, "see ya!"

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Cynthia Rothrock Probably the most famous female martial artist 
John Miller  
Director Claim to Fame
Godfrey Ho possibly directed more Smithee films than anyone else - also known as: Alton Cheung, Tommy Cheung, Ho Chi-Keung, Elton Chong, Daniel Clough, Leong Fui Fong, Antonin Gasner, Martin Greenfield, Godfrey Hall, Zhi Jiang He, Benny Ho, Chi-Mou Ho, Chun-Sing Ho, Fong Ho, York Lam, Bruce Lambert, Charles Lee, Frank Lewis, Joe Livingstone, Jerry Sawyer, Victor Sears, Robert Young, Albert Yu 

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2017 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.